If you’ve walked with God for any length of time, you may find yourself wondering if there are any benefits of being a Christian. Oh you know there’s the whole going to heaven bit, but are there any benefits while you’re on earth?
Please don’t misunderstand me, this post is not saying that as Christians we should follow Christ because we’re expecting something. No, we’re simply discussing a real question that arises from a life lived apart from the world especially when it seems as though the rest of the world thrives in their non-belief while Christians pine away longing for God. And, questioning the reasons for serving God is a wholly human reaction. We’re in the company of such people like King David and Asaph.
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What does it mean to be a Christian?
Before we start talking about the benefits of Christianity, let’s define what it means to be a Christian. The word Christian is the English translation of the Greek Christianós, (pronounced khris-tee-an-os') and it simply means “follower of Christ”. The term was first used in Antioch.
And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26 NKJV).
So, if you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and claim to follow him, you’re a Christian.
Characteristics of a Child of God
So we know who a Christian is, but what makes us different from everyone else? Well, let’s talk about some of the characteristics of a Christ follower, shall we? There’s a passage in Romans 12:9-21 that pretty much gives us a checklist of how to live a life that honors God. I hope you have your Bibles out cause we’re going deep, y’all. These are some of the characteristics of a Christian:
- Being able to love without hypocrisy
- Hating what is evil
- Clinging to what is good
- Being affectionate to each other and showing brotherly love
- Honoring each other and giving them preference over ourselves
- Being diligent in our service to God and each other
- Rejoicing in our hope of eternal life
- Being patient in tribulation
- Continuing steadfastly in prayer
- Taking care of the needs of the saints and showing hospitality
- Blessing those who persecute us not cursing them
- Rejoicing with those who rejoice, and weeping with those who weep
- Treating each person the same (in other words, not showing favoritism)
- Not being proud but instead associating with the humble
- Not being wise in our own opinions (that means being able to accept advice from others and not acting as though we’re smarter than everyone else)
- Not repaying evil for evil
- Doing things in such a way that everyone can see that you’re honorable
- As much as possible, living peaceably with everyone
- Not avenging ourselves, but remembering that vengeance belongs to God who will repay in due time
- Feeding our enemies when they are hungry
- Not being overcome by evil, but showing mercy even when there is only evil
Man! Just reading that list is enough to wear you out. But let’s not get discouraged. The great thing about being a Christian is that we are able to access the power of the Holy Spirit so we’re not expected to do all of that by ourselves. Thank God!
But let’s just say we’ve managed to tap into the Holy Spirit’s power and do everything in the list above…are you beginning to see some of the benefits?
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The Benefits of Christianity in Society
Let’s imagine a world where people cared about each other. Nobody tried to avenge themselves when they got hurt but instead tried to resolve disputes peaceably and calmly. There’d be no hungry people because we’re so concerned with taking care of our enemies that we give freely from our supply. And, because we’re praying constantly, we’ve now have the mind of Christ and have mastered the art of putting others above ourselves. Wouldn’t that be a great place to live? We could close all the jails and say goodbye to crime.
Okay, back to the real world. Even though we’re not living in utopia, as Christians we still have this opportunity to make our little piece of the world a better place. Our society benefits from our faith because as people learn to love, they start to treat each other with greater respect which reduces acts of violence.
People who have learned to love will provide for the needy…which means fewer people depending on the government for support.
But before you start thinking there are no personal benefits of righteous living, let’s dig a little deeper.
Physical Benefits of Being a Christian
Okay, I’m not going to tell you that the minute you decide to follow Christ you’re going to shrink down to your perfect weight…if that were the case, obviously I’m doing something wrong. But seriously, there are some health benefits of Christianity.
- Less stress. One of the things Christ taught is that we shouldn’t worry so much. A person who has matured in their faith will understand how to give their worries to Jesus. In Matthew 6:25-33, Jesus told his disciples that there’s no need to worry about what they’ll eat, drink or wear because God already knows what his children need and is more than willing—and capable—of providing for all their needs.
- Better able to cope with sickness. There’s something about knowing that this world is not your permanent home. It allows you to put many things in perspective—things like sickness and disease. The prophet Isaiah offered hope when he told his listeners “by his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Because Jesus is the son of God, we can receive healing either on this earth or in the life to come.
Spiritual Benefits of Being a Christian
Jesus promised his followers that as long as they lived in the world they’d have tribulations. But he didn’t leave it there. He went on to say that because he had overcome the world, those who believe in him have the ability to do the same.
The apostle Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 6:10-18, reminds believers that our trials stem from a spiritual source and that we have the right weapons to deal with it. A non-believer doesn’t have the power to overcome the enemy because he’s trying to do it in his own strength.
Emotional Benefits of Being a Christian
Loneliness, fear, worry…these are things everyone struggles with and our responses to each of them vary. The beauty of being a Christian is being able to call on God. As we wrestle with our emotions, we remember that these things are but for a short time…and that gives us hope. If we remain faithful, we will reap the rewards of our faith.
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Bible Verses About the Benefits of Being a Christian
Scripture has a lot to say about the benefits of being a Christian. One of my favorite passages to read, when I need a reminder, is Psalm 103. According to that psalm, here are some of the benefits of following Jesus:
- Forgiveness of sins
- Healing from diseases
- A life redeemed from destruction
- God’s loving kindness and tender mercies
- Good, satisfying food
- Youth and the strength that comes with it
- Righteousness from God
- Justice when we are oppressed
- God’s mercy and grace
There are a lot more verses about the benefits of being in Christ. Here are some of my favorites:
- Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:7-10 NKJV).
- For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved John 3:16-17 NKJV
- But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you Matthew 6:33 NKJV
- All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV
- But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you John 14:26 NKJV
- There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love 1 John 4:18 NKJV
- If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9 NKJV
- The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction Proverbs 1:7 NKJV
- Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
- Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27:14 NKJV
I hope you’ve gotten at least an idea of some of the privileges and benefits of being a Christian and child of God. At least, enough so that you can start thinking about your witness for Christ. We are called to be ambassadors for Him, so go out there and let your light shine.
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